JUBA - Four generals from the South Sudanese military will attend a workshop in Addis Ababa this week on implementing the days-old ceasefire and transitional security arrangements for South Sudan, an army spokesman said Wednesday.
SPLA spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer, said President Salva Kiir nominated the officers at a meeting with senior military officials in Juba on Tuesday. Aguer did not name the four officers.
At the workshop in Addis Ababa, the military officers will meet with their counterparts from Riek Machar’s SPLM-in-Opposition group and IGAD mediators who crafted the peace deal for South Sudan.
Among items they will discuss are security arrangements during a 30-month transitional period in South Sudan, including the drawdown of forces throughout the country, the creation of demilitarized zones and the cantonment of troops who fought in the young nation's recently ended conflict.
Troops to be removed from Juba
One provision of the security arrangements is that all military forces that are currently in Juba will be redeployed to at least 25 kilometers (15 miles) outside the center of the capital.
The proposed redeployment was at the top of a list of reservations that the government raised with the IGAD-brokered peace agreement, which Mr. Kiir signed last week -- nine days after Machar signed it on behalf of the armed opposition and Pagan Amum signed on behalf of a group of former political detainees.
The government argued that redeploying SPLA forces would undermine South Sudanese sovereignty and could cause instability in military ranks.
The United Nations Security Council last week gave the government of South Sudan until Sept. 1 to withdraw its reservatons with the peace deal, and threatened to impose targeted sanctions on leaders from both sides in the conflict, and an arms embargo, if it did not.
The deadline came and went with no indication that the government intended to rescind its objections to the agreement. The U.N. Security Council has not scheduled any meetings in the coming days to discuss South Sudan.